As The Batman gears up for an early March release, reviews from critics have started trickling in, analyzing the latest appearance of the Caped Crusader.

Directed by Matt Reeves, the film explores an early year of Bruce Wayne’s journey to becoming a crime-fighting vigilante, pitting him against the twisted, brilliant mind of The Riddler, played by Paul Dano. Robert Pattinson’s Batman will face off other key figures from the franchise, such as anti-heroine Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and crime bosses Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).

Here’s a quick summary of what early reviewers have to say about The Batman.

How Is Robert Pattinson’s Batman?

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

The Hollywood Reporter – David Rooney

“The biggest dividends of Reeves’ approach go to Batman/Bruce himself, with Pattinson playing him as a sorrowful, almost desperate man, indifferent to his astronomical wealth and fully aware that he can do only so much to reverse the course of a society rotten to its core… Pattinson is riveting throughout.”

Variety – Peter Debruge

“Pattinson is the most sullen of the actors to have played the character, which reads as a kind of daredevil nihilism whenever he’s in costume: He doesn’t seem fearless so much as ambivalent about whether he lives or dies. Once the cowl comes off, however, Pattinson’s interpretation gets more intriguing: Brooding and withdrawn, he’s a damaged loner with unresolved daddy issues, saddled with all kinds of complicated emotional trauma.”

IndieWire – David Ehrlich

“Pattinson’s Bruce isn’t a playboy philanthropist or a recovering fuck-up trained by Ra’s al Ghul or whatever else this character has been in the past. He doesn’t have a social life or a sense of humor. All he has is the big house his parents owned, the slowed-down version of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” that follows him like a bad smell, and the mission that gives meaning to his life. Batman is simply the scar that’s grown over Bruce Wayne, and the wound it covers is wider than it is deep.”

What’s The Story?

 Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz in The Batman

The Hollywood Reporter – David Rooney

“With his Planet of the Apes installments, Matt Reeves demonstrated that big studio franchise movies based on iconic screen properties didn’t have to exclude intelligent, emotionally nuanced storytelling. The same applies to The Batman, a brooding genre piece in which the superhero trappings of cape and cowl, Batmobile and cool gadgetry are folded into the grimy noir textures of an intricately plotted detective story.”

The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw

“Intriguingly at first, The Batman feels like a serial killer chiller such as Saw. For a time it promises a mystery plot relating to the theme of municipal corruption which is so important to the Batman franchise, and holds out hope of an unmasking with a satisfying narrative resolution. But not really.”

Slashfilm – Chris Evangelista

“Reeves and company have crafted a sprawling, ominous, dreamy epic; a mash-up of action-adventure, mystery, horror, noir, and even a little romance thrown in for good measure. There were multiple moments here where I had to stop and ask myself, “Wow, is this the best Batman movie?” It just might be.”

What About The Villains?

Paul Dano as The Riddler

Variety – Peter Debruge

“The Riddler’s schemes are genuinely scary, far more than seems reasonable for a PG-13-rated movie. The idea here is that some of Gotham’s top-ranking officials — plus cat burglar-cum-cocktail waitress Selina Kyle (Kravitz) — are somehow mixed up with Falcone, and the Riddler has taken it upon himself to purge the system of such elements.”

SlashFilm – Chris Evangelista

Dano has played unhinged weirdos before, but he goes all-out here, delivering rambling, disturbing speeches where he modulates his voice from a faint whisper to an ear-blasting shriek without warning. It is a jarring performance, and at times genuinely scary. He might be slight in frame, but he still instills fear due to his malevolent unpredictability.

The Batman releases in theaters on March 4th, 2022.

(Featured Image Credits: Warner Bros. Entertainment)